The literary world is constantly evolving. (Or devolving as the case may be.) PubCrawl recently posted an insightful article about the disturbing trends of sexual violence in books written for young adults. You can see from the comments that the public is split as to what teens really need and more importantly (sarcasm) what they’ll spend money on.
So I’ve pitted two best selling novels, comparing content and sales, in an effort to determine what teens really want in their books.
(Yes, they’re different genres and this is an oversimplification, but it’s my blog, so deal with it.)
FAULT: 315 pgs – published 2012
POTTER: 870 pgs – published 2003
FAULT: Main Character’s age – 16
POTTER: Main Character’s age – 15
FAULT: Hazel and Augustus go to his hotel room and have sex. Mention of removing clothes being awkward because of her oxygen tank and his fake leg. Mention of “condomy problems” and that it wasn’t too painful or ecstatic.
POTTER: Harry and Ron try to enter Hermonie’s room. “A loud, wailing, claxonlike sound” starts and the stairs turn into a slide. “‘Er- I don’t think we’re allowed in the girls’ dormitories,’ said Harry, pulling Ron to his feet and trying not to laugh.”
FAULT: “Do you know what Dom Perignon said after inventing champagne? He called out to his fellow monks, ‘Come quickly: I am tasting the stars.’” (p. 163 Before the “cool” enabling adults facilitate underage drinking.)
POTTER: “You know what?” Ron murmured, looking over at the bar with enthusiasm. “We could order anything we like in here, I bet that bloke would sell us anything, he wouldn’t care. I’ve always wanted to try firewhisky–” “You — are — a — prefect,” snarled Hermione.” “Oh,” said Ron, the smile fading from his face. “Yeah…” (pg. 337 before they order non-alcoholic butterbeer.)
20 + sh**
FAULT OF OUR STARS: Total books sold - less than 11 million
ORDER OF THE PHOENIX: Total books sold – 55 million